Proposals for more cafes and kiosks in Hackney parks this summer
Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Hackney Council
Nothing says summertime like an ice cream, and traders could soon be selling the frozen treats in local parks in a bid to boost council coffers and encourage more people to get out and about.
The Town Hall is considering renting out eight permanent catering spots and 15 temporary ones for ice cream vans or market traders.
It wants to have permanent cafes or kiosks in Abney Park, Clissold Park, De Beauvoir Square, Fairchild’s Garden, and a cafe in the pavilion at Hackney Downs.
There could also be cafes in the old park keepers’ huts in Haggerston Park and Hoxton Square, and in a redundant part of the toilet block at Millfields Park.
Number-crunchers at the council think there is space for seasonal ice cream vendors at Hackney Downs, London Fields, Millfields Park, Mark Street Gardens in Shoreditch and Well Street Common.
Coffee vendors could sell hot drinks in parks including Homerton Grove, Windsor Terrace and Morry Levy Memorial Gardens in Hoxton.
There are already cafes in Clissold Park, Springfield Park and at the Britannia Leisure Centre in Shoreditch Park.
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Parks development manager Sam Parry said: “We are keen to extend this provision to some of our smaller parks – many of which have no food or drink provision nearby.”
He said it can encourage people to spend more time in the park and attract new users and could help boost local businesses.
He added: “A large number of people said they value the ability to buy food and drink when they visit our facilities.”
Entrepreneurs who win the concessions in an open tender will be banned from using single-use plastic and will have to minimise waste and food miles. They will also be asked to buy as much of their food locally as possible, and to follow Hackney’s healthy eating guidelines.
They will also have to pay the London Living Wage.
Concessions are likely to run from three to five years, with an option to extend for a further two years.
The idea was outlined in a briefing to the cabinet’s procurement and insourcing committee yesterday.
“It’s a really good opportunity to bring a number of unused facilities into use, and make some money for the council,” said Cllr Robert Chapman, cabinet member for finance.